I’ve been trying to catch up with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. I really liked Child’s Make Me. You can read my review here. Night School was published in 2016 and is set in 1997 when Jack Reacher was a Major in the Military Police. Reacher finds himself sent to a “school” that in reality is a task force investigating why a U.S. citizen is selling “something” to a terrorist group for $100 million.

I enjoyed Night School but some aspects of the novel annoyed me. Jack Reacher has “hunches” and nearly every one of his hunches pay off. Reacher gets to beat up some neo-Nazis and sleep with his boss. Everything comes a little to easy for Reacher in this novel. He barely breaks a sweat. The search for the U.S. citizen is clever and compelling. The $100 million “something” was a little more challenging to figure out, but I was pretty close. I find Jack Reacher novels ideal for reading during airline flights and doctor’s appointments. Do you have a favorite Jack Reacher novel? GRADE: B

20 thoughts on “NIGHT SCHOOL By Lee Child

  1. Deb

    Having a character use “a hunch” rather than deductive reasoning to explain a plot point is a lazy writer’s way out, imho. In fact, there was an episode of The Simpsons (as there always is) highlighting this very thing: the family is watching a new police show called “Hunch”. The main character goes around arresting random (and clearly innocent) strangers for various crimes and always explains his decision with, “I don’t know…I just had a hunch.”

  2. Jerry House

    I’ve been on a Lee Child reading spree this year and have managed to read all but one of the books, George. I like the character despite his improbable skill set and personal quirks. As you said, the books are like potato chips; once you start you cannot stop.

  3. George Kelley

    Jerry, when I’m reading a Jack Reacher novel, the pages just fly by! I still have the Jack Reacher short story collection to read, but I’m saving that for our trip to Florida for our niece’s wedding.

  4. Maggie mason

    I’m reading an advance of the new one right now, and you are right about the pages flying by. I really don’t have a favorite, though maybe it should be the one where Gary Niebuhr and I were characters. I don’t remember the hunches in Night School that require suspension of disbelief, but I read it more than a couple of days ago which is when my memory begins to fade.

    1. Maggie mason

      He is. Anyone can stop and talk to him, get pix, etc. He used to throw a Reacher Creature party for his fans, but they never refused admittance to anyone who wasn’t invited and showed up. The last one was at the SF Bouchercon and it was open to anyone, and sadly the bar was in the lobby. I had my customary one drink, but there were people who took advantage. The total bill was in excess of $60K. Since he was GOH, he opened it up to the entire membership.

  5. Jeff Meyerson

    I agree with you, this one was not my favorite (though there were worse). I liked the first “prequel” (THE AFFAIR) better. There are a couple of the earlier ones that stood out too, but I can’t remember the titles at this point.

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        It was good. The lengths of the stories varied greatly. A couple featured the teenage Reacher, which made an interesting change. It’s a fast read.

  6. Steve Oerkfitz

    Read one a few years back. I don’t care fro characters with such a improbable skill set. The same reason I stopped read Robert Crais when he began to feature joe Pike so much.

  7. Cap'n Bob

    Well, I read one and was able to stop cold! So much for the potato chip analogy! My disdain for the books does not extend to the author! I partook of his free drinks in Chicago and San Francisco and he did seem like a decent guy! But his selection of the Jack Reacher Model (remember that?) and allowing The Smirking Dwarf to star in the Reacher movie was just too much for me!

    1. george Post author

      Bob, I’ve heard Lee Child wasn’t thrilled with The Smirking Dwarf buying the rights to the Jack Reacher series. But, it’s always about the money…


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